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Old 03-08-2021, 02:25 PM   #1
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4x4/lifted converted E350 scary to drive on highway

I bought a used van that has what I believe is a 4 inch lift and it's been converted to 4X4. I run 265 tires. It drives fine around town and on forest roads/4x4 trails, but the ride on the freeway scares my wife and she refuses to drive and it's to the point where she is close to refusing to be a passenger. I love this van and have big plans for building it out as it only has 60K miles with a diesel, so I'd really like to figure out the ride situation before I add a Fiberine Super Camper top and begin the big build.



The best way I can describe it is this: If you are going over 50 mph on the freeway and hit an expansion joint before a bridge that is not perpendicular or perfectly 90 degrees to the road, the van will hit it and "wander" towards the left hand lane or right shoulder. So you are zipping along and all of a sudden there is this period of time where you are waiting to see which way (to your left or do your right) that the van is about to go and it goes that way and it's difficult to keep in the lane. If the road is perfectly straight and any bump is perfectly 90 degrees to the lane, it's fine. I can cruise on straightaways with an even surface at 80mph. It's the pot holes, when the road is veering left or right, or when there's an uneven expansion joint or surface that is not square that things get really loose and unnerving.



For those of you that know the area, the best example I can give is Glenwood Canyon in Colorado. There are a lot of bends and turns and that part of I-70 is very uneven with a ton of expansion joints and pot holes. I have to go about 45mph through there and get passed by semi trucks that I will end up passing later on down the road when I-70 straighten outs towards Utah.



Any suggestions? Could it be as simple as different shocks?


Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2021, 02:28 PM   #2
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Please start off by letting us know everything that you know about the van:

Year
Make
Model
Engine
4x4 conversion company (if known)
Photos of the front suspension / steering setup
Your location (in case someone can swing by and take a look)


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Old 03-08-2021, 02:39 PM   #3
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Yes, this makes a lot of sense.


2004 Ford E350 EB
6.0L Powerstroke Diesel


Conversion done by a mechanic that works for Timberline Vans, in Golden, so it was purchased from Timberline, but I am not sure if it's fully done by Timberline or a fully Timberline van, if that makes any sense. Tim at Timberline mentioned that the mechanic only did a couple of things that he wouldn't have done, but the only thing I remember is using a different brand of ball joints that he preferred to use for the regular Timberline vans. The other thing he told me seemed unrelated to suspension, steering, and 4x4 conversion and the van did come with the standard 1 year 4x4 conversion warranty.



I also had it checked out by a mechanic before I purchased it and the mechanic thought the ball joints were a little too tight, but that they would loosen up after 1,000 miles. I have put about 4,000 miles on the van since purchased.


I am as far from an expert of 4x4 suspension as it comes despite owning numerous 4x4 vehicles, but they were all stock from the manufacturer with no modifications and only really needed for driving on ice and snow in the mountains in the winter.



I will get some pics of the suspension, shocks, etc this evening and hopefully that might help with other's advice.



I'm located in Edwards, CO.




Thanks again.
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Old 03-08-2021, 03:03 PM   #4
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Sounds very similar to my van except I could not go over 55 mph on any road any time. My van loved to "track" with the road (ie...if the road was not completely flat it would just go wherever the road went). White knuckle at times.

Ball joints + tie rod ends + agile rip kit fixed the issue. Any competent shop can install the Agile kit....or you can probably save money by just sourcing the parts yourself. If you do a search you can find out what coils to use and then can just buy the tuned shocks from Agile or anywhere else.

Also depending on the weight perhaps you want to go with a real leaf pack too (that helped me a lot). I think there is a shop in Colorado that builds custom leaf packs?

I have had (2) Quigley's and neither have driven even remotely close to what a normal car/truck feels like. I just learned to drive the speed limit and under at times (70mph max). Not sure what kind of conversion the Timberline conversion is....but I consistently hear great things about U-Joint (leaf springs) 4x4 conversion vs. the coil conversions.
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Old 03-08-2021, 03:04 PM   #5
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Out of curiosity, when the mechanic checked out the Van, was that someone you paid to "inspect" prior to your purchase ? Or did you bring it specifically to a FE shop (familiar with 4X4's) because of the issues you outlined above?
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Old 03-08-2021, 03:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
Out of curiosity, when the mechanic checked out the Van, was that someone you paid to "inspect" prior to your purchase ? Or did you bring it specifically to a FE shop (familiar with 4X4's) because of the issues you outlined above?
No, I had driven the vehicle for a test drive around the neighborhood before I took it to the mechanic to mostly check out the engine, but did mention I thought it drove a bit sketchy. He sort of mentioned that it's a big van with wide tires so they don't drive like a stock truck, but I don't think he went and drove it on the freeway to see what I meant about the ride quality.
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:00 PM   #7
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Did you get an alignment or have it measured on the rack? You also could have castor/camber issues from the sounds of it. Get measurements of these angles so can rule out how the front was end was setup.
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:15 PM   #8
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What brand of tires do you have and the load rating. What condition are they in?
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:25 PM   #9
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What brand of tires do you have and the load rating. What condition are they in?
They seem to be almost new BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2, at least when I bought the van 4,000 miles ago. I run them at 45-50 psi. Anything over 50 psi makes the suspension pretty jarring off pavement. I would say they are in great condition, no uneven wear and a lot of tread left.
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clicker44 View Post
Ball joints + tie rod ends + agile rip kit fixed the issue. Any competent shop can install the Agile kit....or you can probably save money by just sourcing the parts yourself. If you do a search you can find out what coils to use and then can just buy the tuned shocks from Agile or anywhere else.
You can source the moog springs elsewhere when they aren’t on a national back order, but agile custom tuned fox shocks can only be had from them directly. You can fit other fox shocks, but they won’t have the custom valving agile developed for our heavy vans.

Op, there’s many threads about similar issues on this forum. A search for death wobble should yield you quite a bit of informative threads. Once you answer all the questions asked, members might be able to pinpoint some time and get you going in the right direction. There’s a lotta smart cookies within these pages.
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